By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
As usual, all info gathered from the website of the Arizona Legislature or other internet sources, and subject to change without notice (and given the time of year, expect changes)...
Normally, the committee schedules of both the House and Senate are combined into one post. However, the week, and probably for the next few weeks, committee agendas are incredibly full. In the interests of keeping this manageable, there will be a separate post for each chamber this week and any future weeks where necessary.
In addition, there are *so* many bills up for consideration this week, that I don't have time or space to cover them all. If you've got a particular area of interest, please read the pertinent agenda(s) to ensure you know about all of the bills you care about.
Senate committee highlights/lowlights this week (mostly lowlights) -
- Rules will meet on Monday in Caucus Room 1 upon adjournment of the Senate floor session. Long agenda, lots of bad bills, rubber stamp, short meeting.
- Natural Resources and Transportation will meet on Monday in SHR109 upon adjournment of Rules. Bad bills: SB1334, OK'ing hunting within city limits; SB1335, OK'ing hunting at night (for "varmints"); SB1388, adding the provision that incorporated municipalities can regulate the sale of consumer fireworks within city limits (currently, they can only regulate the use of same within city limits) and restricting Maricopa County from regulating use in unincorporated areas except "during times when there is a reasonable risk of wildfires in the immediate county."
- Judiciary will meet on Monday in SHR1 upon adjournment of Rules. This one is nearly *all* ugly, even though a few bills were removed from the agenda (and even those were bad). On the agenda: SB1201, a firearms "omnibus" bill. Rather than attempt to explain all of the bad in this one, just read the summary compiled by legislative staff; SB1308, directing the governor to enter into a neo-Confederate alliance with other states that create a 2nd class birth certificate/non-citizenship for immigrants law such as would be created by the following bill on the agenda...SB1309, the nativists' anti-14th Amendment bill; SB1465, barring the acceptance of consulate-issued ID cards as valid identification; SB1469, greatly expanding someone's ability to kill another person and escape justice with some sort of "defense" claim; SB1490, barring counties from issuing food service worker cards unless the recipient proves his citizenship/"authorized presence" first; SCR1025, a proposed amendment to the AZ Constitution ending Clean Elections; SCR1034, the secession-by-any-other-name/"nullification" screed declaring that Arizona doesn't have to follow any federal laws or rules it doesn't like.
- Education will meet on Monday in SHR3 upon adjournment of Rules. There's some bad here, but it doesn't even come close to the level of bad on Judiciary's agenda. This agenda includes: SB1422, changing procedures relating to school closures, including removing a requirement for a public meeting before any such closure; SB1263, with all sorts of changes to education-related law, including allowing for a shorter school year; SB1554, mandating that the Arizona Department of Education contract with a private insurer to provide personal liability insurance for teachers.
- Veterans and Military Affairs will meet on Tuesday in SHR3 at 9 a.m. Looks quiet so far.
- Banking and Insurance will meet on Tuesday in SHR3 at 2 p.m. Looks quiet, but some of these are very technical and might warrant a looking-over by someone who has more expertise in these areas than I do.
- Appropriations will meet on Tuesday in SHR109 at 2 p.m. Another bad one. On the agenda: SB1231, SB1408, SCR1019, and SCR1026, all relating to mandating lower limits on state appropriations/expenditures. All are tea party favorites.
- Public Safety and Human Services will meet on Wednesday in SHR3 at 9 a.m. On the agenda: a possible strike everything amendment to a Russell Pearce-introduced "technical correction" bill, SB1012. The striker's subject is "fingerprint clearance cards; citizenship status"; SCR1056, an Al Melvin postcard to every county and municipality in the state urging them to utilize inmate forced labor for some of their public works projects.
- Government Reform will meet on Wednesday in SHR1 at 9 a.m. Almost as bad as Monday's Judiciary agenda. Items: SB1322, mandating the privatization of virtually all municipal services in cities with a population of more than 500K (definitely Phoenix, probably Tucson, possibly Mesa); SB1325, inhibiting labor unions from engaging in any political activity; SB1329, barring public employees from engaging in any sort of political activity, including lobbying, during "the employee's hours of employment." This seems to be targeted at agency and governmental lobbyists who advocate for their employers as part of their job functions and at teachers, many of whom had dared to participate in protests at the legislature; SB1339, repealing *all* agency rules unless they are enacted by statute; SB1345 and SB1347, mandating limits on the number of municipal employees and their compensation in cities with a population of more than 500K; SB1365 and SCR1028, barring payroll deduction for political advocacy without an annual authorization from the employee; SB1409, mandating that all government publications and documents be written in English; SB1420, mandating that school districts put placement of special needs students out to competitive bid, instead of placing them in a school/facility that serves their needs; SB1525, mandating all sort of requirements/restrictions on municipal development fees (this one should really be analyzed by someone who understands the subject better than I do).
- Commerce and Energy will meet on Wednesday in SHR109 at 9 a.m. On the agenda: SB1363, "protecting" employers from union activity.
- Healthcare and Medical Liability will meet on Wednesday in SHR1 at 2 p.m. Some seriously bad bills on the agenda: SB1246 and SB1265, doing all sorts of things to limit a woman's right to obtain an abortion, and SCR1017, "honoring" the fake pregnancy care centers that the anti-choice types use to deceive desperate women.
- Water, Land Use, and Rural Development will meet on Wednesday in SHR3 at 2 p.m. On the agenda: SB1319, a bill to require goverrnmental entitities that acquire property by whatever means must sell off an equal amount of property and SB1470, repealing all county water authorities.
- Economic Development and Jobs Creation will meet on Wednesday in SHR109 at 2 p.m. Looks quiet so far.
- Border Security, Federalism, and States Sovereignty will meet on Thursday in SHR109 at 8 a.m. All bad bills. On the agenda: SB1392 and SB1406, new Confederacy/"interstate compact" bills regarding gray wolves and a border fence, respectively; SB1393 and SB1394, declaring that Arizona has supreme authority to regulate greenhouse gases; SB1546, proclaiming Arizona's "right" to seize federally-owned land under eminent domain; SB1342, authorizing the Arizona Rangers to engage in border security/anti-immigration activities upon proclamation of the governor.
- Finance will meet on Thursday in SHR1 at 9 a.m. Most of these are beyond my understanding, but one that stands out is SB1221, freezing until 2030 the amount of revenue the state is required to share with municipalities at the 2009-2010 level.
Highlights of other Capitol events:
- From 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, the ALEC membership drive and reception will be held at Morton's on Camelback Road.